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Friday, September 29, 2006

And so begins the end (of the regular season)

Last series of the year starts tonight. Here are the possible final records for the team, based on what happens in this series with the Bucs:

Sweep the Pirates: 82-80 (0.506)
Win 2 of 3: 81-81 (0.500)
Win 1 of 3: 80-82 (0.494)
Swept by Pirates: 79-83 (0.488)

Ok, now I'm trying to figure this out, so correct me if I'm wrong (update: I've modified the following AGAIN based on the comments -- thanks folks, you people rock!). For the Reds to make the playoffs, I believe that following must occur:
  • The Cardinals must either:
    • lose all of their remaining games vs. the Brewers, and the Reds sweep the Pirates. The Reds would have a better record than the Cards in that case.
    • or, lose all of their remaining games vs. the Brew Crew, and the Reds win 2 of 3 vs. the Pirates. This will force the Cardinals to make up the previously postponed September 17th game vs. the Giants. If they lose that game, the Reds would force a single-game playoff with the Cards to determine the division champion.
    • or, lose 2 of 3 of their remaining games vs. the Brewers, and the Reds sweep the Pirates. Again, this would force the make-up game, which the Cards must lose to net the Reds a single-game playoff.
  • AND The Astros must either:
    • Lose all of their remaining games, in which case the Reds must win 2 of 3 vs. the Pirates to tie them and force a one-game playoff.
    • Lose all of their remaining games, and the Reds sweep the Pirates. This would put the Reds ahead of the 'Stros.
    • or, Lose 2 of their 3 remaining games, in which case the Reds must sweep the Pirates to force a tie.
So, in sum, the Reds must win this final series to have any shot at the playoffs. If they sweep, they have a better chance at avoiding a single-game playoff vs. either the Astros or Cards and just winning the division outright. In any case, both the Astros and Cards have to lose their final series for the Reds to advance.

Could the Reds still be a playoff team? Sure, why not? The Reds do have the advantage of playing against the weakest team of the bunch. So go Reds, Braves, and Brewers, and boo on the Pirates, Cards, and Astros! :)

I gotta say, it sure is exciting to still have the playoffs remain a legitimate (though rather remote - BP puts the odds between 0.67% and 0.88%, though that seems rather low to me...) possibility entering the final three-game series of the year.